Guests arriving 6:30a-8 am happening more often

My checkin is 4 pm but it seems since covid ( maybe airlines have more early flights?) that more guests are asking for super early checkin …I am an upscale historic property so pretty solid rates.

I don’t want my guests to be schlepping their luggage around either; and recently had a 3rd party problem ( and addl 4 unpaid guests) so I’m trying to meet our guests each time. Plus I am requiring in advance a photo Id of the reservator and for them to now fill in the names of all their guests.

Question: how to you handle these early check ins ? Do you charge a fee?
Please advise. Thanks!

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I state in my HR that early check in of more than 2 hours requires an additional night’s stay the night before.

It’s how hotels manage that. You want to check in at 0630? In order to make sure your room/home/listing is ready, you must add the night before to your reservation. Late checkout past noon - same thing.

I keep the message simple and people either book or they don’t and it doesn’t matter to me as I’ve probably dodged a problem guest otherwise.


Two situations: 1) They ask for early check in but don’t specify a time. 2) They ask for a specific early check-in time.

Sometimes early check in is simply not available – for example, when there is a turnover that day. In that situation I simply say that the check in is not available as our cleaners need the full time to prepare your vacation home for your scheduled 4 pm check-in time.

IF we can provide an early check-in, then:

In ‘1’ I ask what time they would like to check in, and if that is not available what would be their backup early check in time.

In ‘2’ I let them know whether that time is available; if not, if another time is available.

A few times people have said that they just wanted to freshen up before some event that day. If they were flying in to Logan I gave them the lounge information where they could buy a pass and take a shower. I have also provided access to my gym where they can take a shower or use the gym but there is a $30 day pass charge per person.

If the house is truly available I have provided the early check-in at no additional cost so long as either I offered the early check-in, the requested check in time was like noon or later or they were nice about it, not entitled.

I have balked about giving a super early check-in, like 8 am unless I really knew that the house was both available AND that we didn’t want to take advantage of that time to do some maintenance in the house.

We don’t charge extra.


I greet my guests and fortunately get up about 5 AM so an early check-in can work if there are no guests the night before. It hasn’t happened much and I have not charged. Occasionally I’ll have someone who doesn’t care if the room is 100% ready - they just want to change, use the bathroom or even just drop off luggage and I make provisions for that. As noted in other posts if they want to guarantee early availability they need to reserve the night before.


Thank you for all your input! super helpful to me

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I usually let the guests have early check in as early as 10 am, if they have to arrive super early I will ask for a flight itinerary prior to accommodate them, only if the listing is vacant for the night before.

Anyone who wants check in before the check out time should pay for the additional night. As far as luggage drop off goes some hosts can offer that at no extra charge but since you don’t live on the premises that doesn’t sound like a good option for you. Nashville has luggage storage facilities, you could suggest that to guests who arrive early.


I have tried asking for them to pay for an additional night but so far I haven’t had anyone who agreed and then they give me a bad review. So I don’t do that anymore.

In my pre-booking message I ask them to inquire first if they need early check or late check out. When I get those inquiries I either deny them or tell them early check in won’t be possible.

Within a day of booking, I ask them the approximate time of arrival/departure. If they want a free night, I ask them to cancel within 24 hours for a full refund.

Some people still turn up early. I try to accommodate them but I take good care of them in the reviews to a point where it would be difficult for them to instant book again.

While I realize it wouldn’t work for hosts who do same-day turnovers, I made it easy on myself and my guests by having one-day prep time and a check-in time from 11am- 11pm. I have accommodated one or two arrivals outside of those times- the guests either had a flight delay, and kept me informed, or were arriving in town earlier than 11.

Because all my guests arrive by air or bus, it isn’t a matter of them driving here and just dicking around so they don’t arrive within the window- they actually don’t have control over their arrival time.

In reality, no guest, aside from maybe 3, has ever checked out past 4 or checked in before 11.

Because I home share and also work from home, it isn’t hard for me to be available whenever they arrive. And with my minimum 3 nights and an average stay of 10 days, as well as most of my guests having been pretty accurate about arrival time (if they give me their flight arrival time, I can estimate how long it will take for them to get here by bus or cab from the airport) it isn’t like I have to be home all day very often to check them in.

Yes that reminds me of a guest that I accommodated a 7 am checkin. Then 2 days later they wanted a 6 pm checkout. As you stated an overbearing guest.


Maybe the one thing I should have mentioned is that usually I cannot agree to an early check-in until the day or afternoon before.

Sometimes there might be a surprise repair needed after the last guest. So I have to inspect the premises before I can know I can give that early check-in.

Also, If there’s a possibility of an intervening booking, even one shorter than our usual or required stay (I edit the calendar) I won’t lose business by guaranteeing an early check in.

The last time I gave the early. check in I also did say that they would like encounter workers in the back yard and some ‘busyness’ on the property before the scheduled 4 pm check-in time.

We haven’t encountered this thankfully, but we’re mostly turning over on the same day every ~4 days. The resort we’re on has a gym facility with showers that opens around that time – I’d probably suggest that to them, then provide a recommendation for a nearby restaurant and offer to cover some coffee or mimosas. Is there something similar like that you could offer? If that wasn’t enough for them, I’d probably request they book the night before or after if it was available (maybe at a bit of a discount if I was feeling generous). If it wasn’t, I’d probably suggest they cancel and find a different option.

Thank you most of my rentals are Thur- Sunday but occasionally longer where I could run into a timing issue Good idea not to guarantee for sure and tell them to add previous nite if they want a guarantee early arrival

Why are you doing this if they are arriving earlier than your check in time?


Well I leave them snacks, bananas and waters plus enough coffee for their stay and nice creams too. Honestly 95% of my guests have been lively and comment how nice my home and gardens are. In season I also put out vases of flowers too.

If you were responding to Piton View’s question, it wasn’t referring to the niceties we provide for guests. She was asking why a host would feel the need to pay for drinks or anything else for guests who ignore check-in time and arrive much too early, for them to consume while they wait until the stated check-in time.


“Sorry but the previous guests will still be in bed at that time. Check in is at 4pm”.


I let people check in early without charge if the unit is available, but it counts as the night before if it would still dark out when they want to check in. I also say that I can’t guarantee it until right before their arrival, and I don’t accept bags to hold until at least 9 am.

Once I did let some guests have the night before for a very early am check in for just half a nights fee…I knew I couldn’t book the night before anyway because I don’t do one night stays. That worked out well for us both.

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Why is this even a question? I’m confused. If someone wants to get into the listing at 630-8 am then they book the night before. I wouldn’t even have that conversation with a guest.


I’ve had one guest ask to check in early, flying from China. I accommodated by a couple hours, not 6:30 a.m. but then, of course, his flight was late.

I really don’t understand guests assuming they can check in that early. I send a message two days before and one thing I let them know, in case they’ve never seen it is approximately what time will they be arriving.

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